Canvas repairs are not always the favorite jobs for marine fabricators. But the need for repairs can be reduced by the use of longer-lasting threads, such as those made of polytetra fluoroethylene (PTFE). But there is a cost involved.
“The industry as a whole has engaged in the use in longer-life threads but not completely,” says Scott Massey, who runs Awning Cleaning Industries in New Haven, Conn., and uses PTFE thread in both marine and non-marine canvas applications. “It’s still a much more expensive item.”
The advantage is that the thread is expected to outlast the fabric, says Massey. “Its history is probably only five years or so,” he says, “but I’ve never seen it fail yet.”
While the thread may be four times more expensive than the cheaper alternatives, it does provide a cost efficiency, says Massey. And in the grand scheme of things, the cost is relatively small. “If I’m doing a job that requires $1,000 in materials, even the expensive thread may cost me only $30,” he says. “Unless you want to restitch at some point, I don’t see any reason not to use the better stuff.”